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Helping a friend to find out the truth

(25 Posts)
PitOfVipers Thu 20-Sep-12 23:55:15

Have name changed for this one, as i know some MN'ers from my local area are on here, and i promised this lady faithfully that i wouldn't tell anyone else who knew her, what she had disclosed to me.

Basically, a friend of mine was telling me yesterday how her DM's family had always made unkind comments about her father not actually being her father.
Some in nasty ways towards her, and some neutral but seeming to think it was a good idea to let her know, as a young child, there was a doubt about her paternity.
Her DM has denied all knowledge and stated that her DH is definately my friends' father.
She has a brother from DM and supposed DF (will call him SDF), but cant ask him for a dna test to prove if they are full DB/Dsis, because he will inform her DM and quite possibly refuse to do the test.
SDF was very nasty to my friend growing up, from what she has told me she was treated very differently to the other children, physically and emotionally abused ect.
She was born, surname was that of DM, then changed later on to that of SDF following their marriage.

She believes she knows who it is who is supposed to be her 'real' DF (RDF), but that she had heard a rumour he may have passed away.
She knows members of his family, but is understandably afraid to approach them.

I have promised to do my best to help her.
What should i do?
I've offered to approach the family of RDF on her behalf and test the water, its not a case of her mum cheating becoming pregnant ect, they were single when they had their relationship, so nothing there that could cause anomosity.

Hope someone out there has the answer smile

omfgkillmenow Fri 21-Sep-12 00:00:00

is there a brother or sister who could do a DNA test, surely they could tell if full siblings or half siblings?

lisaro Fri 21-Sep-12 00:05:56

Honestly? You should not get involved. Be there for her and support her, but it's just not your place to approach anybody. I know you mean well, but just don't.

PitOfVipers Fri 21-Sep-12 00:12:42

Bugger.. I've promised now.

She is obviously very troubled and devastated by it all. How cruel of her family!

And i said to her, i guess it might have been a lot different had you not been treated so badly by SDF, and she agreed.

I simply have to help her. She is a lovely lady.

omfg sorry i did state in the OP about dna testing her brother

PitOfVipers Fri 21-Sep-12 00:15:20

I offered because sometimes its hard to do on your own, if i ask them, i'm a nobody to them really, if she does, it opens up a can of worms as she has 'loose' ties with the family which is why she is afraid to approach them with this. think she doesn't want to lose what she has already but is desperate to know.

I did mention geneology sites ect but again i'd have no idea where to begin.

lisaro Fri 21-Sep-12 00:18:39

Getting someone else to approach could alienate them, if she approaches at least it's private, and from her heart. Don't forget they may have absolutely no biological link with her.

suburbophobe Fri 21-Sep-12 00:21:53

Good point, lisaro

PitOfVipers Fri 21-Sep-12 00:23:10

Thats what i'm thinking, how to approach it.
Sorry but i am going to do it, just how and when is the question, of course i'm not just going to breeze in and announce whats going on, hopefully i will find someone who is open to the possibility and close enough to the people who matter to ask on her behalf or break the news that its a possibility, as it were.

She does understand the possible ramifications ect..

PitOfVipers Fri 21-Sep-12 00:24:14

Anyone then with some sound advice on how TO do it and not how not to smile lol

lisaro Fri 21-Sep-12 00:25:25

I'll stop nagging nowgrin

omfgkillmenow Fri 21-Sep-12 00:29:49

Sorry OP thought maybe there were more DC's because she was treated differently to the other child(ren). So if its not the siblings then who is it in DMs family that is making these statements?

PitOfVipers Fri 21-Sep-12 00:31:26

LOL sorry i thank you very much for your input and POV but i'm a stubborn moo and can't stand seeing my friend hurting this way sad

I am worried about making things worse, possibly unresolvable for life.
Maybe if i take some of what you say and just personally support her.. i think she would be a lot happier with me testing it out for her, to guage the kind of reception she is likely to get, and understand that she's scared..

She's also worried about the reactions of her DM and SDF but desperately wants to know the truth.

What an awful situation i'm so sad for her sad

PitOfVipers Fri 21-Sep-12 00:33:44

Yes there are other children but they are cold towards her too, due to (i think) seeing how she was treated growing up.

Its DM's father (friends GF) apparently the statement went 'That ginger bastard isn't your father'
Her GrM, her Aunt/s ...

izzyizin Fri 21-Sep-12 04:33:21

Long response alert!

If you fail to proceed with extreme caution, you could make your friend's unsatisfactory situation infinitely worse and may ruin her chances of discovering the truth about her parentage.

It would seem that certain of her relatives put it into her head that the man named on her birth certificate may not be her biological father and this, together with her unfavourable treatment as a child of the family, has served to convince her that they may have been, or are, right.

Are any of the relatives who told her 'that ginger bastard isn't your father' alive? If so, does she have contact with them? If affirmative, she should approach them and ask outright what they meant by their statments. If she implies that she knows that 'ginger' isn't her papa, they may be forthcoming about her dm's relationships prior to her marriage and your friend's birth and it could be that names other than the late RDF are mentioned.

On the other hand, it could be these relatives told her untruths because they had some real or imagined score to settle with her dm and/or SDF. Or it could simply be that your friend has a markedly different physical appearance to her siblings - who may have auburn hair while hers is dark, for example - and this gave rise to idle speculation on their part.

The fact is that her dm may well be telling the truth and SDF's apparent aversion to her could be due to him feeling constrained to marry her mother because of her birth, which may or may not go some way to explain why they didn't marry prior to her arrival.

Is your friend able to be assertive with her immediate family members? She appears to have told her dm about her doubt, but has she raised this subject with SDF (acronym for sadistic damn fucker?)?

If I were your friend, SDF would be my second port of call and if he claimed he was my biological father I'd be asking him why he's treated me so badly/unfavourably and demand a DNA test to prove paternity and, if he wouldn't agree, I'd go through my siblings like a dose of salts until I found one that agreed to take a test to determine if we shared the same father.

From the way you've described the attitude of her sibllings, I would have have thought they'd be forming a disorderly queue to prove that she is 'less' than a child of the family than they are.

However, before any full frontal assault as it were, I would find opportunity to gather covert samples of DNA from SDF and a sibling or 2. A test carried out on a used tissue containing nasal fluid has an accuracy rate of 95% compared with 99% for mouth swabs and some 75% and below for items such as toothbrushes, cigarette butts etc, and only 25% for the famed licked stamp/envelope.

Tests on hair strands are 99% accurate but require 5-10 fresh hairs with roots attached for comparison which may rule out combs/hairbrushes unless they are only used by the subject and happen to contain fresh hairs with their roots.

Please note that it may be necessary to send covertly obtained DNA samples outside of the UK for testing and, if it is proved that SDF is not your friend's father, she's best advised not to advertise how she acquired her knowledge but to assert it until such time as he/her siblings agree to conventional DNA testing which can be carried out by a UK lab.

Only after every effort has been made to extract (no pun intended) the truth by overt or covert means should any thought be given to making an approach to any of the late RDF's family members.

If it is deemed necessary to make an approach to what may possibly be your friend's biological df's family, I would suggest that it should be made to one of his siblings who should be best placed to know whether their brother enjoyed a relationship with her dm around the time your friend was conceived.

Alternatively, if she is cordial terms with any of RDF's children, she could perhaps mention obliquely in passing that she's always wondered who her df was and note their reaction before continuing the conversation, either at that time or raisng it again at a later date.

I appreciate you want to end your friend's uncertainty as quickly possible but I caution you once more against acting in haste. The fact is that your friend has lived with this doubt for many years and another few weeks or months, while knowing that she may achieve some resolution that wasn't in prospect for her until you came on the scene, isn't going to add to her existing hurt.

Feel free to pm me if you should need any further info on covert DNA testing and laboratories with the means to make the necessary comparisons, or any aspect of your friend's quest.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Sep-12 09:30:33

Before you go down the DNA rout what does it say on her birth certificate? If Mum was single at the time & 'Dad' isn't on it then that would be the first question to ask. Natural parents can be horribly cruel for all kinds of bizarre reasons, of course.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm Fri 21-Sep-12 16:01:55

Thats great advice thank you Izzy and Ergo .. yes a lot of what you raise i will ask her / tell her, the last last last thing i want is to screw it all up, for some strange reason she trusts me with this info that only her and her DH know (not including all the other douchebags with their so called knowledge or suspicions) I'm 'gathering' ideas and then presenting her with them as they're often things you cant come out with when your mind is full of the unfairness or sadness of a situation.

I hope this stuff is useful to her, thanks for replying smile

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm Fri 21-Sep-12 16:02:22

Oh bollocks i knew i'd be shit with the name changing thing LOL

izzyizin Fri 21-Sep-12 16:20:34

That doesn't matter to me. Does it matter to you? smile

I hope you'll come back with info as to what names are shown on your friend's birth cert (the full, not the short, version). And what name is shown as father of the bride on her marriage cert?

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm Fri 21-Sep-12 16:42:49

I'm hoping she will too, she seemed keen to find out i think just to lay it to rest in her own mind, but who knows, if it turns out to be true, she could find a new, very receptive and very loving family, or a middle line .. its such a minefield though, this kind of thing, and i dont want to see her hurt .. especially not by this ..

If i remember rightly her name was at birth the surname of her mum. then changed to SDF's following marriage to her DM.

I know this was back in the day when it was still bad to be a single mum as my dad was in the same situation, GD had to leave the area and GM married SGF who treated us very well so i was surprised to find out he had resented my DF and beaten him a lot during his childhood.

So she is in that situation. A little of me wishes her family would stop being so sly and snide/nasty and just sit down and be honest and truthful.

I could shake them really i could lol

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm Fri 21-Sep-12 16:44:05

And i namechanged in case anyone realises who i am and puts 2 and 2 together but i don't think they will..if they're looking for someone at the school who tells me secrets or asks my advice on stuff they have a long list to tick through smile

izzyizin Fri 21-Sep-12 17:17:48

As your friend's dm was unmarried at the time of her birth, it is probable that her original birth certificate shows the name of her mother with the father's name being left blank/unrecorded.

The fact your friend's surname was changed to that of SDF's after his marriage to her doesn't mean a great deal as its not uncommon for young step and other dc to be known at school and elsewhere by a different surname to that shown on their birth certs.

If, after marriage to her dm, SDF's name was subsequently added to your friend's birth cert as the father of the child, a judgement call may need to be made as to whether SDF is in fact her biological father or whether some untruth was told to the Registrar when her original birth certificate was amended.

Although she has married and may have a passport etc, the possibility that your friend may not be in possession of, or have had sight of, her full birth certificate should not be discounted.

lisaro Fri 21-Sep-12 17:46:52

OP/Thingsthatmaeyou - you'd never make a spy. Please don't try to 'go undercover' in your quest to help your friend. grin

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm Fri 21-Sep-12 18:49:41

I wouldnt want to be a spy lol being sneaky or underhanded never did come easy to me, neither does lying.. i knew it was a daft idea to name change really rofl

lisaro Fri 21-Sep-12 18:51:14


ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm Fri 21-Sep-12 18:51:56

I will do that izzy thank you for your advice.. i put you in the same league as AnyFucker in the good advice stakes lol

Cheers smile Will update as soon as i'm able, its hard to chat to her as finding a time when either and both of us hasn't got a child in tow is hard but will let her know asap

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